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August 2011

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TLOTL

As a recovering hand-waver myself, with 10+ years of "hands-side-ity," I couldn't agree more. :^D

Steve Gershik

What a great point. Nostradamus would have been right at home in many Powerpoint fueled hand-waving sessions in corporate America today. Talk about obfuscation.

Foresight is a great luxury to have in business and it would be great to see more useful examples of marketing forecasts so that marketers can adopt that practice.

A necessary skill, though, is thoughtful hindsight. Many marketers still suffer from an astigmatism when it comes to seeing and interpreting what has already happened, don't you think?

TLOTL

Awesome piece Steve. I would only add a small historical footnote. Nostradamus' track record for foresight is a bit hard to measure, since most of his predictions were written in a fusion of 3-4 languages describing abstract visions of a future he couldn't understand. So Nostradamus (according to a documentary I saw once) used obfuscation to avoid persecution/death at the hands of religious zealots - a more literal version of "getting fired."

In many ways, modern marketers have to reverse-engineer the Nostradamus method. i.e., we have to explain complex data from the past in simple, digestible terms to drive future actions. I would be tempted to say that marketers have to have the foresight of Nouriel Roubini, except we're generally not allowed to forecast bad news without quickly adding a plan to make it better. Roubini gets to doom-and-gloom all day to a standing ovation.

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  • Steve Gershik has been a VP of Marketing and demand generation leader for over 18 years. He frequently writes and speaks about marketing automation, brand management, demand generation and Internet marketing.

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